Saturday, August 3, 2013

Leaving Seattle, first day in Boston

Both of the eagles are nesting in the tree across the lake. We have hauled up the boats and they are upside down. In an hour Starline will pick us up and we will head to SEATAC. It has been a wonderful time to rest from Denver and I have had the privilege of helping many students with their projects and papers.

We do not have a direct to Boston, we will first go to Dulles ( IAD) and then head to Boston. It will be a red eye, not sure how that will go, but ready to try.

We went through July with almost zero rain, so Kathy and Tammy put in an irrigation system to  preserve the landscaping work Kathy has done. Be interesting to see what is still alive when we get back from Boston/Richmond.

The Starline driver was a personable guy; he is here from Russia. He was very excited, on Sunday he and his wife are going to Soap Lake in Eastern Washington, one of the classic mineral bath spas in the USA. The more he talked, the more we got excited and I think we are going to try to go.

United fails at customer service, 3 and 4 August 2013

US 262 Seattle (SEA) to Dulles (IAD) was late leaving the gate, but not horribly so. The movie was some cartoon. The screen in front of us was so washed out we could not have watched it if we had wanted to and I did not want to. But the worst was the service. It was a five hour flight and they brought exactly two small plastic glasses of water, one after takeoff and one an hour before landing. I always carry a thermos and shared it with Kathy, but we were both "a quart low" by the time we landed and refilled my thermos and spent five minutes at the water fountain.
From Dulles (IAD) to Boston (BOS) we scored first class on UA 764. We did fall asleep after takeoff, we had just flown a redeye, but they never offered to bring us anything, no snack, no water after did wake up. Not the end of the world, flight was only about 100 minutes and I had refilled my thermos, but clearly these are two of the suckiest flight crews I have run into in a long time.

Taxi to the Hilton Back Bay was uneventful. Room was not ready, the hotel had sold out the night before, something about a Red Sox game ( This hotel is about 1,500 steps away from Fenway Park). They kept our bags and we took a walk.

Before we left Seattle I packed a picnic for the airport. I will pay airport prices for food, but I want it to be at least close to what I can make. It was in a separate insulated bag so I grabbed it and my trusty thermos from the luggage chart and we headed out to Back Bay. We found a park bench out of the glare of the sun. We just had a snack, we were not hungry, but I had snagged a bag of ice to keep the food safe till we got our room which has a fridge.

There was a Trader Joes, we grabbed some gluten free ginger snaps for Kathy and their papaya digestive pill. The is a micro-sized Trader Joe, you can't buy a bottle of Two Buck Chuck here, they do not have a wine section, which is OK, I don't really like Two Buck Chuck.

Then I asked Kathy if she wanted me to try to organize a massage. My Google Fu is very powerful on my MacBook Pro, but on a phone when I can barely see the screen it is harder, but I had heard good things about the Rainbow Health Center and they were able to take us in their couple's room for an hour. Kathy really enjoyed hers, mine was so so, but a great way to pass the time when your hotel room is not ready.

Then we wandered over to Newbury Street, ( I love people watching on Newbury in the summer time), there were a few empty outdoor tables at Trident Booksellers and Cafe. The weather was absolutely perfect, not too hot or cold and the lightest of breezes. Kathy had a hard cider, I had the Long Trail Double Bag beer. Kathy ordered the Vegetarian Frittata, I ordered the Prosciutto/Brie/Date sandwich.  We waited and waited and the Frittata come, but no sandwich. Finally the manager came out, apologized and took it off the bill. I was not mad or anything, did I mention I love people watching on Newbury Street? But it shows excellent customer service. We came back to the Hilton, our room was ready. It is nice, what they call a Panorama room. It is recently refurbished, has a fridge, but no de-frumping mirror. Kathy has a travel one, but I think that should be mandatory for guests over 50.

Kathy crashed, went hard down, so I went out for a walk. Picked up a slice from Perfect Pizza, the Mediterranean. That was just perfect. I will be headed down to meet with my co-instructor in ten minutes to strategize for tomorrow.

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